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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Memorial planned for NI inventor
Harry Ferguson
Harry Ferguson was the first man in Ireland to make a powered flight
Plans are under way to build a memorial to one of NI's most famous inventors.

The late Harry Ferguson from County Down was to change the face of farming worldwide when he invented the mechanisms for the modern day tractor.

Thousands of people turned out at the weekend for a special event near Dromore which saw over 600 tractors fill one of his fields.

Organiser Bill Forsythe said work on the memorial will begin when they have raised enough money.

Born at Growell near Dromore in 1884, Ferguson had built and piloted his own aeroplane by the age of 24.

However, he is best known for the "little grey Fergie".

Ferguson revolutionised the design of tractors with his "system of complete farm mechanisation".

This involved the plough being mounted onto the tractor in three-point linkage, forming a single unit.

Ferguson mechanism (pic by Stevan Patterson)
The Ferguson System revolutionised farming

The first model of his tractor was produced in 1936.

This consisted of just the basic cultivating tools - plows, cultivators, tillers, ridgers plus a few accessories.

Over the next 12 years the Ferguson range expanded to cover almost all of the tasks a farmer might need from basic cultivation to precision hoeing.

Ferguson tractors became so popular in Denmark that a waltz was written in their honour.


SEE ALSO
'Village' honours NI engineer
18 Feb 04 |  Northern Ireland
Tractors star in mucky video
25 Oct 02 |  England

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